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NFC North Rundown: Franchise tags, free agency projections, and more

Once almost a foregone conclusion, one reliable NFL source says the star receiver may not necessarily be a shoe-in to receive the tag.

New Orleans Saints v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Time is ticking down on the NFL’s franchise tag period, which closes at 4 p.m. ET today. While the Green Bay Packers have their own decision to make on Aaron Jones, other decisions loom within the NFC North.

Kenny Golladay is one of the other more notable tag candidates in the division, but his stay in Detroit may be a little more uncertain than originally thought. Today’s rundown features some discussions of his situation while diving into the significant number of salary cap casualties as teams trim payroll. Plus, more quarterback news as one franchise continues its search for a new signal caller and another plans to stand firm with its incumbent.

Chicago Bears

Report: Bears not likely to exercise Bobby Massie’s 2021 contract option

Chicago may be on the lookout for additional offensive line help if one of its starting tackles is indeed released.

Russell Wilson-to-Bears rumors heat up: Here’s what a trade could look like

The Bears do not have prime draft capital to entice Seattle, but could look to package other stars in a potential deal for Wilson.

Column: Ryan Pace and the cap-crunched Chicago Bears have heavy lifting ahead of them as they plan for a QB — and many other parts — heading into free agency

Much has been made about the Packers’ heavy upcoming decisions to cut salary cap space, but they certainly are not alone within the division.

Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions release Christian Jones, have major work to do at LB in free agency

Jones became the Lions’ second defensive cap casualty in the past week as a new regime continues to freshen the roster.

Lions re-sign Mike Ford to a new contract

However, Detroit did re-sign a special teams standout in the midst of cost-cutting measures.

Schefter: Kenny Golladay may avoid franchise tag after turning down $18M from Lions in 2020

The budding star at receiver apparently turned down elite-level money over the course of last season.

Minnesota Vikings

Vikings release veteran tight end Kyle Rudolph, ending decade-long run in Minnesota

In case you missed it early last week, Minnesota cut ties with one of its longest tenured offensive players.

Minnesota Vikings GM says Kirk Cousins is ‘our quarterback going forward’

It appears Minnesota will join Green Bay as another team in the NFC North that will not have a changing of the guard at quarterback in 2021.

How glassblowing helps Minnesota Vikings’ Stephen Weatherly decompress

In more of a color piece, here is how a recent Viking signing finds a unique type of art as a therapeutic way to escape the pressures of football.